tv [untitled] February 22, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
knows >> the executive director for saint anthony foundation, honored to welcome all of you to this hope-filled and ossetia's differ the foundation. for those of you may have been down in the dining room, today is a special day for all of us, especially our guests. in october of 1950, father alfred bodeker, a pastor just up the street, open the doors of saint and the 's dining room. he saw it as a growing need on the sidewalks outside the church. everyday folks were lining up, searching for food. he felt that handing out a sandwich at the back door was not a dignified way to assess people, and it did not help to address some of the core problems that those folks were facing. so he was able to acquire at the
corner of golden gate and jones, an old on a body repair shop, and he converted it into a dining room. from the start, he wanted it called a dining room. and everyone that came to the doors for a meal was to be called a guest. all of the volunteers, all of our staff throughout the last 61 years and knows that we greet everybody who comes through the doors like we would greet somebody coming into our home, with that same hospitality, that unconditional welcoming. so that not only are they getting a fine meal, but they're being reminded that their dignity is in tact. and that we're there to stand with them through whatever hardships they are facing to start a new day. on that first day, father alfred thought he would serve about 150 meals. but 400 showed up to eat. they managed to have enough food for everyone. the dining room also became known as the miracle on jones
street, because somehow there were always able to feed everybody who came. here we are today, everyone, 2012, 61 years later, 38 million meals later, and we are, today, serving our last meal in our original dining room. we are relocating for two years the tiberi dining room. on the same spot where st. anthony's was started, a new dining room is going to rise up. we're very excited about that. we're excited today to be launching both the start of that new building, lodging the public face of our capital campaign, and together, as a community, bringing it all together so that st. anthony's is demonstrating its commitment for the next 60 plus years to serve the people of san francisco. one of the things we have always valued as partnerships. this is no different. not only are we building a larger dining room, about 43%
larger, in fact, we are also bringing two of our other programs under the second floor of our building. our clothing program and our social work center, both on the second floor. it means that our guests have this integrated services right there, immediately where they need them. another partnership i am very proud of his partnership with mercy housing but they're going to be building 90 units of affordable senior housing on the upper floors. this corner of golden gate and jones is going to be transformed. there will be a 10-story building on the corner. it will bring food, counseling, clothing, and housing. and i think that i can say that the mayor has always emphasized the need for partnerships. we can address the challenges we are facing as a city when we all pull together and we bring our best to cells and our best expertise to address the challenges we face. and caring and sharing is a
theme i know the mayor has promoted throughout his efforts and continues to bring to his leadership in san francisco. certainly that is what st. anthony's exemplifies and what we do each day. it is my honor to introduce the leader of our fine city, mayor ed lee. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you for your leadership. father, thank you very much. you represent really the best of what we do in san francisco. i am so glad to join supervisor scott wiener here today. our fire chief is here. members of our police chief and the district captain is here. jane kim is here as well. a wonderful collaboration of people that have come together because of st. anthony's. not only are the meals important, but it really is the spirit and connections that people get when they come to a center like this.
it is warm, friendly, people open themselves up for dialogue. and quality of life and then becomes something that is mutually talked about. i am thrilled to join here. i do not see it as anything negative today, just because it is colorado maybe the last meal served here for now, but it is won that excites me for the new chapter of st. anthony's. the new head of mercy housing is doug schumacher, who came as the head of our mayor's office of housing. i know he will be heading up a building this wonderful housing complex, along with the ground floor meal center that you have here, while you take care temporarily of the serving of meals to people who really need them and want them and good, wholesome food that has always been at the heart of the expression of love and support at st. anthony has. i am also proud to share the stage was someone like larry
baird. i have to say this, when you say the word of the name giants, there is only one giant in this city that we welcome. that is the san francisco giants. you know what i am talking about. [laughter] i will say this, i am really happy to associate st. anthony's and what the giants have done in partnership with them, because it is something i have always wanted to see, our businesses, our sports team to be able to make that strong connection as they have historically done. not only to the management come down, like larry himself, but the owners and the players have been here serving meals. again, showing the love that this city has, the connections that we all have, because it is about connecting people in life, no matter what stage they are, what economic level they are at. i am -- i have always about the city for the 100%.
everybody lives here, and what we do and what sherry does and went sherry announces a need and the father praise for people to come, people should listen. and they should, and they have to. and that is why we chose our director of hope, housing opportunities, partnerships, innovation, embracing and engaging our communities. bevon is here today to help serve these meals. he is supposed to be on vacation, gearing up for the very hard work he is going to do. but i know his passion has already been shown for so long. so it is natural that he comes aboard and helps. these are the kinds of people that i want to surround myself with. the supervisors, with good administrators, people in the community, the business community, that all coverage on the important part of improving
people's lives, opening up communication, giving the heart of san francisco out in the open and making sure that we take care of their buddies needs. with that, i am happy to be here. i am happy to be part of service to this. and sherry, congratulations on this stage of bringing forth for st. anthony's. i am excited to see a brand-new building, but also the same hearts to go into that have always been here. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much. speaking of hearts, many of you are today volunteering with us. and every year, roughly 10,000 volunteers come and give of their time and served meals, help out in our clothing program, our clinic, and our various programs. but at the core of what we do each day in the dining room are our regular volunteers.
men and women who, for years to come in every day of the week -- some have a monday, some have a wednesday. they come in every week on that day, and they surf. they greet our guests. there's some of the most constant sources of hope and inspiration for our guests. many of our regular volunteers have been with us for 15 years and over, and we're so grateful for them. i know that as we embark on this new adventure, saying goodbye to the original dining room is also a sad tug on their hearts. but we're bringing for the spirit of generosity and care that our regular volunteers bring each and every day. i am honored to invite two of those stallworth volunteers to join me and say a few words. kathy and bill. [applause] >> good afternoon.
i can attest to the energy that is going on in the dining room this morning, having been there for a couple of hours this morning. there is sadness because we're leaving, and there's also a joy because of the new stage we're going to get up as sherry said, my name is kathy, 15 years ago i noticed an ad in the church bulletin. so i thought i would give it a try. i would come down here and began volunteering. when i first walked down that driveway of what used to be a garage, i noticed that i was on sacred ground, holy ground, if you will. there is an era of compassion and love and service and dignity and respect that i do not find any place else, and that is why i keep coming. 15 years, and i hope i can do even more. i wanted to share a very short story with you that sort of speaks to my experience here on a weekly basis.
just before christmas, the wednesday before christmas, one of the guests motioned to me and said, i want to tell you about this new show that i have seen. and he was very excited to tell me about an old show from the 1930's and how it was now being seen on his computer or laptop at home. after a few minutes, i took up his enthusiasm and energy and i sat down with him, and he continued to tell me the story and how excited he was. although it was not something that i know about particularly, i found that we were just two people sitting in a dining room and sharing some time together. and there was no longer the server and the guest. it was just us. and i left that day feeling as though i had been touched in a very special moment. it is those moments that make the dining room some magical for me. thank you. [applause]